Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Magic of "Photoshop:Old School" and a List of Lessons Learned

I've been trying to draw regularly this summer. If not every day, I have managed to work my way through quite a few sketchbook pages, a couple of watercolors, and that yellow teapot still life. But my main focus has been on simple, graphite portraiture, with enough of a range of values to add a little life. I've pestered friends and relatives to pose, and when I'm alone, I've resorted to reproducing photographic portraits, mainly, from Vogue and other magazines.

Here's yesterday's, which made me cringe a bit. But why? I scratched my head. I went outdoors. I weeded the flower bed. 
I returned.

I walked up to my desk, and in doing so, I saw this girl upside down, and with fresh eyes.

OH SNAP! Her chin and jaw are massive! (Not that everything else was absolutely swell, but that manjaw did stand out.) 

So I did some "Photoshopping." Maybe it should be called "Sketchshopping." 

Or maybe it should be called "Erasing."

Then I went back to work, finally calling it quits when my pencil couldn't lay on any more graphite. 

Lessons Learned, or at least, reinforced:

1. Draw every day; don't give in to the fear of failure that stops the party before it even gets started;
2. Take breaks and return to look at work with fresh eyes;
3. Periodically look at work upside down;
4. Erase! If you can draw something once, you can do it again;
5. Get some soft leads, to boost the range of possible values.


  1. Thank you for sharing your lessons, Suzy. I have had similar experiences too. Another help is looking at your photo reference and your sketch in the mirror (or flip it in PS). Very nice sketch too.

  2. Kim, No Photoshop here, unless it's on my computer and I am not aware! I will try a mirror, though.

    It was your "Peter Pan" sketch that inspired me to take a stab at freckles--thanks!